I don’t use a formal language arts (reading, writing, spelling, grammar) curriculum. I have my children read and write examples of good written work! – that’s why using copywork has been essential in my homeschool!
I also used copywork in my classroom in the form of a weekly handwriting exercise and “memory verse”…keep reading.
What Content “Counts” As Copywork?
Simply put, when I find a great quote, or even something my child is interested in. I write it down (or type it on the computer) for them. Their responsibility is to read the sentence, or passage to me, then to copy it EXACTLY as it is written, in their BEST writing. This is copywork.
I look for passages that model good grammar, quality word choice, and are interesting. My son has indeed completed copywork on video games. I’m sure that is not at all what Charlotte Mason would have intended, but it worked for us! The gift of homeschooling is YOU are the designer. My son also copied his share of bible passages and famous quotes. I tried to balance everything.
Mario and Luigi fight to save the Princess. While this is not mindblowing literature, or an earth shattering statement. I was very much able to motivate my son who was bored with the same copywork routine by adding these gems in there. He even made suggestions! It was a wonderful opportunity for us to customize his education, and for him to own his learning.
One year our copywork coordinated with History, and the kids were able to draw pictures to go with what they had copied! I loved this added artistic component.
When my middle daughter was re-reading the Harry Potter series for the third time, I had HER select her own favorite quotes and use them as her copywork.
Every formal “English/Grammar” lesson I taught in the classroom can easily be taught with no fuss and muss through copywork. Even spelling. My children have learned to spell through reading and writing and have never had a formal spelling lesson nor spelling list/test!
Bible verses make excellent copywork, as do quotes from your favorite novels.
I too practice the discipline of copywork. As with everything we do, being a good role model for my children is important.
Copywork by age:
First learn to write – handwriting instruction. The copywork is simple letter formation.
A reason for writing – scripture based handwriting curriculum.
This Series begins with Level K and continues by grade level (A being grade 1, and F grade 6. Level T is a transition from manuscript to cursive)
Handwriting without Tears series – this program begins with K and ends in grade 5.
As soon as your learner can copy short phrases, copywork can begin. God is Good. (for example) is simple enough for a pre-K or Kindergarten writer,
As your writer advances they can move to copying longer sentences, to paragraphs.
We did not use formal handwriting past cursive (3rd grade) and we incorporated copywork beginning mid-year kindergarten. But every child is different. Everyone learns differently. Please listen to the balance of learning for each of your learners and adjust accordingly.
There are a million different possibilities for how copywork can look in your home, or even your classroom.
In my classroom we used one sentence/verse a week. Students practiced good form copying over and over each day. At the end of the week, they stood before the class to recite the sentence/verse as memory verse from memory. This also helped oral communication skills.
Another copywork strategy you can use at home or in the classroom is to have a new quote/verse each day Monday – Thursday and have the learner pick their favorite and copy again on Friday. On Friday they copy the favorite verse onto decorative border paper to display.
You could also simply complete one quote a week and have a ‘set’ at the end of the school year of = Famous quotes, Bible Verses, Dates in History, Fun Facts…etc. You copy the same quote each day of the week.
In a large family you can task older siblings with creating copywork for younger siblings.
Happy Hive homeschooling is working on copywork to accompany the Holiday of the Day curriculum. Check our TeachersPayTeachers store. Copywork makes great “morning work” as students enter the classroom.
Put on classical music, sit together and practice the art of good writing.
- May your journey be blessed!